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91. If, therefore, indulgences were preached according to the spirit and intention of the pope, all these doubts would be readily resolved. Indeed, they would not exist.

Martin Luther still chooses to believe that the pope has the best interests of the people at heart. He believes that if it were not for the preaching of the indulgence salesmen that indulgences would be good for the people of the church.

After reading these Theses it is hard for me to come to that same conclusion. It seems obvious that the pope was also totally corrupt and completely consumed with greed. As a person who has been a part of the organized church for his entire life I am more than a little disappointed in the church leadership of that day. Looking at the history of the church that Luther ended up piloting I am also disappointed in how that church has responded to the needs of their communities. Certainly the church needs leaders and the bulk of the people in the church are ready to follow those leaders. But it seems that we could do a better job of leading in the ways of the lord. That we could be guided by His love and mercy rather than our earthly tendencies toward pride and selfish ambition. We see church leaders falling into the same sins over and over throughout history.

So I choose to follow Luther’s lead and put the best construction on everything, giving every leader of the church the benefit of the doubt. I choose to focus on the great many wonderful things that the church here on earth has done and the great many people who have had their lives changed forever, by the true gospel preached by the true church here on earth. To God be the Glory!

Prayer

Lord do not let me get bogged down looking at the shortcomings of Your church leaders now and throughout history. Instead give me an extra measure of Your Spirit that I may see Your hand piloting Your church throughout history. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.